Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recognizes West, Texas and Boston Marathon victims and first responders during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Draft Day Opinions

Time passes on as we await May 8th, Draft Day for the NFL.  Skeptics and pundits weigh in on who they think each NFL team will draft.  Positioning for the first five picks get shuffled and jumbled based on Combine and Pro-Day performances.  Yet, Raider Nation has to await the grueling 32 days before General Manager Reggie McKenzie makes his first move.

Which player will drop to the #5 spot, or does McKenzie seek additional draft picks?  These are the burning questions that the Raiders and their fans face in this lull.  Don’t worry, I too will offer my opinion as to who they pick or which direction the Raiders go.  It’s fun to dream or even speculate, and it’s even more fun when you end up being right.

As it stands currently, I believe that the first three picks will determine what the Raiders do with their fifth spot.  The needs of the Raiders are well documented.  Although McKenzie addressed a lot of needs through free agency, there are still definite requirements at key positions.

I believe the two positions that absolutely need to be addressed are WR and DL/LB.  Now, I know that really displays three positions, but I’m saying a hybrid DL/LB player.  Khalil Mack makes the most sense to me when thinking of a player that would fill this position best.  At WR, it would be generous if Sammy Watkins fell to the 5th spot, but that may just be a pipe dream.  Therefore, Mike Evans out of Texas A&M would be a very good selection at #5.  QB Matt Schaub is used to throwing to a large receiver, and Evans would fill that Andre Johnson type player.

Of course, there is always the possibility of trading back in the draft to acquire more draft picks, and ultimately that may be the direction McKenzie is headed.  Let’s face it, the Raiders only have 6 draft picks right now, and they need to pick up a couple more.  There are teams out there that could use the 5th pick to grab one of the ready-now rookies, and those teams have plenty of draft picks to give away.

The possibility of the Raiders trading with the San Francisco 49ers (11-picks), St. Louis Rams (12-picks), New York Jets (12-picks), Jacksonville Jaguars (11-picks), Houston Texans (11-picks), Green Bay Packers (9-picks), Detroit Lions (8-picks), Dallas Cowboys (11-picks), Cleveland Browns (10-picks), Cincinnati Bengals (9-picks), Baltimore Ravens (8-picks), Atlanta Falcons (10-picks), highly exists, especially if a certain player falls back to the #5 spot and one of these teams really has to fill its need.

An additional 2nd round pick and 4th or 5th rounder or all three would be outstanding.  There is an enormous amount of talent in the 2014 Draft, and there are many good or better than good players to choose from in the later rounds.  The other barometer will depend upon how far back McKenzie is willing to fall in the first round.  I like the idea of falling deep into the first to get more in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds.

A DB or DL in the first round makes the most sense in the latter part of the 1st round, but it will all depend on who is the best player available.  I truly believe the Raiders acquire a QB in the early part of the 2nd round, especially if Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater, or Johnny Manziel fall that far.  I won’t be surprised with a pick like A.J. McCarron either.  Again, it all depends on how far down these QB’s drop.

In any event, it’s going to be a very closely watched draft, because McKenzie needs to hit some home runs this year in order to solidify his staff position.  Still, I like the direction McKenzie has this ship headed, and I feel that Raider Nation will be extremely happy with the season ahead.  Keep your heads up Raider Nation, the Raiders will be back!

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Tags: NFL Draft Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie

  • BCB Sports

    Definitely agree, I would be happy with either Clowney, Watkins or Mack. Worst case scenario they’re gone and we trade down.

  • CRUZdaddy

    Easy decision here. Clowney or Mack is there draft him. If not hope that Watkins is available and the jets give up the house for him. With jets pick take best DT OR OT available or hope Gilbert or Barr fall . if all 3 of those players are gone then trade back twice and draft best player available. We need and can afford as many players from this DEEP draft. #OneNation

  • Brutus

    If Clowney, Watkins or Mack are still there at #5, it will be even more tempting to trade back because some team will likely pay big to get one of them. If Watkins is gone, someone might be willing to give us a lot to move up to #5 to get Evans if they think we will take him. Look for Reggie to continue to talk up a lot of the top players in the next few weeks. We need every team to think we may take their guy to maximize what we can get for the pick.

  • Raider Grant

    Agree with drafting Watkins, Mack, Clowney if available, Matthews for the O line would be solid draft pick too. If we could trade back & still be in mix for Evans or Barr while adding a pick that would be advantageous. What I do not want is McKenzie trusting on a gamble this year! Draft solid talent, not someone he just THINKS could be talented at the next level. Only way to build through draft is to draft wisely & know you left nothing on the board once you made that pick. If we keep having C- drafts, then we’ll continue to be a C- team & to me that’s just not acceptable going forward. Since we acquired Schuab, I say wait on QB until next year & BUILD team for Our QB of the future. Peace Raider Nation & Go Raiders!

  • Kevin Lurker

    All on point!

  • CognizantImpiety

    Unless a Sammy Watkins caliber player is available at #5, RM trades down.

  • Bob

    Don’t agree the Raiders take a QB in round 2. They then will have used a #2 round and a #6 round on QBs. Does not make sense with so many holes to fill. They need to use the Seattle model and start buildngi the defense with this draft.

  • Angel

    I agree. My opinion, i’d like to see Watkins come our way. We are so worried about the first round. We CAN and will find gems in later rounds. Look at Sio. I hope we can pull off a trade if Watkins is gone and maybe pick up Ebron??? He’s sick and has great demeanor. We need team players like this guy. Or!! Get Mack… That’d also work. Since birth, go Raiders

  • gdubb

    Solid comment Raider brother

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Always enjoy your knowledge, great points on all accounts. You the man!

  • Sterling Archer

    I would hate to see the Raiders take Watkins, and not because Watkins is a bad player, he is dynamic but should he fall to us other teams are sure to be interested. The line “You want Watkins or not” could be a good trade bait. RM likes to build through the draft and we need to get 2-3 good drafts with 8-10 picks a piece to really build a team. Look at what Seattle has done many of their starters have been late round guys they have developed. It took 4 years but Pete Carrol got his ring. We should follow suit and be patient.

  • Alex Ricker

    When I read the McKenzie ‘has to hit a home run’, I know the writer knows little about football. This is the first draft RM has had all four picks in the first round. In fact, that is the first draft RM has had BOTH a first and second leading in. Hayden and Watson were injured last year, they were far from busts. I think both will be good starters this year. RM has done a very good job in free agency. It may be news to RM’s critics, but young tier 1 free agents don’t go to losing team without being grossly overpaid. RM’s strategy is to take the Raiders from bad to decent without killing future cap room. That means we can then be considered by better and younger free agents. Why is that so hard for these so-called ‘experts’ to understand?

    Also, if he has to hit a home run, then isn’t in his best interests to stay #5 and just pick Mack, Clowney or Watkins? His critics are basically narrowing his options. I say if the 49ers offer the ‘godfather’ of picks being their first five, then we take it. But RM will likely stay at #5 and take the sure thing.

  • KloverJane

    We need to acquire someone who can put up some serious points. Fantasy numbers. Or put the opposing QB on his ass! Period.

  • Reacher

    Best case scenario: Trade with the Lions at #10. Take Aaron Donald, Mike Evans, Mathews, or Anthony Barr, in that order of preference. Get a top 10 ready-now talent (at positions of need at that) and a 2nd + 4/5th rounder depending on who is available at #5 (if it’s Sammy and the Lions want him, they’re going to pay more than a 2nd)

    Otherwise draft Clowney, Mack, Watkins, Bortles, or Robinson, in that order. One of those 9 guys are going to be on the board when we pick whether we stay at 5 or drop to 10. Any one of those guys are going to be a stud for us and if we can get additional picks then we should.

  • Mark from Section 122

    As always, it really is simple; 1st round…Best available player! Don’t over think it. It is not hard as it was in the old days, with all the film, all the combine info, all the media coverage, and basically all the info you could ever want about a player at your fingertips these days. They don’t have to get cute or clever, just pick the best one left on the board when it’s your turn, regardless of position. After that, fill your “must drafts” and your position needs. Raiders have not done well in the last few drafts by not following this method.